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Eugenie Grandet : Penguin Classics - Honore de Balzac

Eugenie Grandet

Penguin Classics

Paperback Published: 1st June 1964
ISBN: 9780140440508
Number Of Pages: 256
For Ages: 18+ years old

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In a gloomy house in provincial Saumur lives the miser Grandet with his wife and daughter, Euginie, whose lives are stifled and overshadowed by his obsession with gold. Guarding his piles of glittering treasures and his only child equally closely, he will let no one near them. But when the arrival of her handsome cousin, Charles, awakens Euginie's own desires, her passion brings her into a violent collision with her father that results in tragedy for all. Euginie Grandet is one of the earliest and finest works in Balzac's Comidie humaine cycle, his magnificent panorama of post-Revolutionary French life, which portrays a society consumed by the struggle to amass wealth and achieve power. Here Grandet embodies both the passionate pursuit of money, and the human cost of avarice.

About the Author

Balzac was born in 1799, the son of a civil servant. At the age of thirty - heavily in debt and with an unsucessful past behind him - he started work on the first of what were to become a total of ninety novels and short stories that make up The Human Comedy. He died in 1850.

Introductionp. vii
Note on the Textp. xxx
Select Bibliographyp. xxxi
A Chronology of Honore de Balzacp. xxxii
Portraits of Bourgeoisp. 3
The Cousin from Parisp. 35
Provincial Lovep. 54
A Miser's Promises and Lovers' Vowsp. 90
Family Sorrowsp. 134
The Way of the Worldp. 169
Explanatory Notesp. 193
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140440508
ISBN-10: 014044050X
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st June 1964
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.5  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.19
Edition Number: 1

Honore De Balzac


About the Author


Honoré de Balzac was a nineteenth-century French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of almost 100 novels and plays collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1815.

Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multi-faceted characters; even his lesser characters are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. Inanimate objects are imbued with character as well; the city of Paris, a backdrop for much of his writing, takes on many human qualities. His writing influenced many famous authors, including the novelists Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, Henry James and Jack Kerouac, as well as important philosophers such as Friedrich Engels. Many of Balzac's works have been made into films, and they continue to inspire other writers.

An enthusiastic reader and independent thinker as a child, Balzac had trouble adapting himself to the teaching style of his grammar school. His willful nature caused trouble throughout his life, and frustrated his ambitions to succeed in the world of business. When he finished school, Balzac was apprenticed as a legal clerk, but he turned his back on law after wearying of its inhumanity and banal routine. Before and during his career as a writer, he attempted to be a publisher, printer, businessman, critic, and politician. He failed in all of these efforts. La Comédie Humaine reflects his real-life difficulties, and includes scenes from his own experience.

Balzac suffered from health problems throughout his life, possibly due to his intense writing schedule. His relationship with his family was often strained by financial and personal drama, and he lost more than one friend over critical reviews. In 1850, he married Ewelina Hańska, his longtime paramour; he died five months later.

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